We all have images of what marriage will be like. Some have the “Cinderella” image where the handsome guy sweeps the beautiful girl off of her feet who is held captive by oppressive parents and jealous ugly step sisters and guess what…they live happily ever after. Or the scene in so many movies where the guy and the girl meet, fall madly in love, have pre-marital sex, and guess what…they live happily ever after. Fairy tales are just that. Marriage is no fairy tale, and no joke. It is a calling from God of the permanent union of two people and is a serious commitment, and should not be taken lightly. Almost 40% of first marriages end in divorce compared with around 60% of second marriages and approximately 75% of third marriages. So you need to get it right the first time.
Quite simply, marriage is a lot of work. In fact it’s the most work you will do in your lifetime if you want to have a quality marriage. Look at it this way. Take a man and a woman who have just gotten married. Place them in house. These are two totally different people, with two totally different family upbringings, two totally different backgrounds, experiences and issues, and very few tools to work with. Now add a couple of kids, pressure from jobs, finances, and bills to pay. Lock the door and see how they do. I can tell you that it will not be easy.
January 19th. Phyllis and I celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary. If I told you it was all easy and a piece of cake, I’d be lying. A lot of work, a lot of fun, joys and struggles, laughter and tears. There is no riding off in the sunset, living happily ever after. But I can tell you if you do the day in and day out work that needs to be done to keep the marriage healthy, you will sustain the marriage and be married for the rest of your life….until death do us part. We are on the road to longevity. Every day we both make the decision to love, commit, and journey together.
A couple of tips:
- Listen more than you talk
- Respect the other person’s view
- Become best friends
- Be supportive of the other person’s journey
- Serve others